Typically every brand has a new design language or philosophy in mind when they overhaul their lineup for the new model year. Some companies will focus on improving the overall powertrain performance, while others will focus on improving fuel economy. Whatever it is, there is usually a shared theme between the different models all coming out for that year, so when potential customers head to their local car dealerships for the newest model year, they have an idea of what to expect from that brand for that year. Sometimes there is a new off-road trim or a new engine lineup, or in the case of the new 2022 Kia models, a focus on infotainment and technology improvements across the lineup.
How much does this actually affect the value proposition of the 2022 Kia lineup, and is it something that would actually entice you to head to a Kia dealer to get a new Forte, EV6, Niro, Soul, or Sorento? Well, you might be surprised to find out just how important infotainment and technology are in the modern automotive industry and how Kia taking steps to be more competitive in that area will help improve the value of its models overall. But let’s get into the details and explore what the 2022 Kia models bring to the table.
Larger Infotainment Displays for 2022 Kia Models
Several Kia models and trims have received a sizable infotainment upgrade in the form of a new 10.25-inch HD touchscreen with navigation support. This new display is an upgrade over the previous model year’s inclusion of a smaller eight-inch touchscreen for most Kia models. This means you get a lot more screen real estate to work with when it comes to the newer model year.
The 10.25-inch HD capacitive touchscreen for the 2022 model year isn’t the first time that some of the company’s models have had access to such a large display. The Kia Telluride, a three-row crossover SUV, has had a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen available since it debuted for the 2020 model year back in 2019. However, the larger screen in the 2020 Telluride was only available for select trims; specifically, the EX and SX trims came with the available 10.25-inch touchscreen, while the LX and S trims were relegated to an eight-inch screen.
For 2022, many Kia models now have the 10.25-inch touchscreen as a standard feature, while others have it available for upper-end trims where it wasn’t available before. For the 2022 Telluride and 2022 Stinger, every trim comes standard with the larger touchscreen and has navigation support. For other models, like the Sorento, Forte, K5, and Soul, the larger touchscreen display is now standard on higher trims.
New Tech for Popular Nameplates
Some of the new tech added for the 2022 model year includes an array of new driver assist features, including the standard inclusion of advanced driver assistance systems. Popular models like the Forte and Stinger now come standard with driver assist systems to help prevent or mitigate frontal collisions. The Soul was also on the receiving end of new tech packages, including the new LX Technology Package, which features many of the advanced active and passive driver-assist systems included with other Kia models.
The 2022 K5 received new tech features like a Surround View Monitor, which allows drivers to see every side of the vehicle from the top down. This makes it much easier to gauge distances when maneuvering in tight spaces, especially when parking. It’s convenient that the Surround View Monitor is accompanied by a parking distance warning system, giving drivers a heads-up when they’re getting a little too close to an object.
For 2022, Kia Connect continues to enable drivers to stay connected to their vehicles through an easy-to-use app. You can get charging information, the whereabouts of your vehicle, and climate control accessibility right from the palm of your hand. This also ties into features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The original UVO Link that Kia employed for infotainment connectivity was available across four different tiers, featuring subscription plans that added more advanced features the further up the tiers you went. Kia Connect retains those four tiers from the UVO Link subscription model, including Lite, Care, Plus, and Ultimate, for those who want access to more and better features with their smart device.
Watch Out Tesla––The EV6 Is Here
Probably the biggest turn of events regarding the 2022 Kia lineup is the inclusion of a brand new model known as the EV6. This is the first purpose-built electric SUV from the South Korean automaker. The vehicle is also the first to be built on the new Kia Electric-Global Modular Platform. This common platform will pave the way for a slew of new EVs from Kia over the coming years, featuring breakthrough technologies introduced with the 2022 EV6, something that will surely get plenty of eco-conscious drivers to start eyeing Kia dealerships for a new ride.
Part of the appeal of the EV6 is its single or dual-motor setup, powered by either a 58 kWh or 77.4 kWh battery pack. You can enjoy up to an EPA-estimated 310 miles of total range with the extended range battery pack and experience up to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. Like many other 2022 Kia models, the EV6 is teeming with neat tech features, especially in the interior, from capacitive controls for the climate control and heated seats to simple touch-buttons for the drive modes that allow you to change how the vehicle handles.
The EV6 also features a 12.3-inch HD touchscreen, giving drivers and passengers an even larger display surface to take advantage of when accessing advanced infotainment features. Even still, there’s a symmetry among many of the 2022 models when it comes to keeping the vehicles interesting with new and updated tech. However, with all these tech-rich updates, upgrades, and new models, does it all actually resonate with car shoppers? Well, yes…in a big way.
The Importance of Technology and Infotainment
It may seem obvious that drivers would like tech features, but you may not realize just how popular they are. A recent survey found that 80% of drivers want infotainment tech that they can customize to their liking and desire a car that offers them the latest features that they can use to personalize their driving experience. Even entertainment options as simple as radios are still seen as very important to today’s drivers, with 91% sticking to the belief that access to a radio is very important during travel.
Given the growing popularity of infotainment within vehicles, Kia isn’t just trying to follow the leader. The brand seems to be trying to get out in front of the trends by combining things people love, like media and app access, with more standard infotainment features, like telematics and navigation. While more advanced infotainment features are often found locked behind premium trims, Kia is changing that perception by introducing more standard infotainment technology, more advanced driver assists, and better quality-of-life features across its 2022 lineup. This means that, regardless of what kind of vehicle you like to drive, if you head to your local car dealerships looking for a vehicle with the latest in tech, safety, and navigation, there’s likely going to be a Kia that can meet your needs.